Skoda Fabia review - Reliability and Safety
The previous Fabia had a middling reputation for reliability but the latest one should be much better – it’s safer too
Skoda took fifth place (out of 30) in our 2019 Driver Power satisfaction survey, beating the likes of Nissan, Audi and Ford. The Fabia itself has never been rated as highly as other products in the range and didn't feature in the 2020 poll. However, in the previous year it placed 64th out of 100 best cars to own, with strong feedback on running costs as well as for the ride and handling.
Elements of the MQB architecture help the Fabia’s safety, reflected by the car’s five-star Euro NCAP rating, earned in 2014. Front Assist collision warning and autonomous braking are standard, while six airbags feature across the range. It earned an 81% score for Adult Occupant protection, 81% for Child Occupant safety, 69% for Pedestrian safety and 69% for Safety Assist features.
All models have side and curtain airbags as standard, plus a front passenger airbag deactivation switch. There are Isofix mounts on the outer rear seats, a tyre pressure monitoring system and remote locking with SAFE function that prevents unlocking from the inside.
Even more impressive is the inclusion of standard Front Assist on all models. This uses a front bumper radar to monitor for impending collisions – it sounds a warning buzzer to alert the driver and, if they don’t react, it will auto-brake to help minimise the effect of any collision, and possibly avoid one altogether. A noteworthy optional feature is the driver fatigue sensor that’s offered on SE grade and above. Light and rain sensors are also available.
Skoda offers a three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer warranty on the Fabia – which, it’s worth noting, doesn’t actually have a mileage cap for the first two years. Worth bearing in mind if you’re an ultra-high mileage user. It can be extended to four our five years with Skoda’s optional extended warranty. It’s backed up by a 12-year anti-perforation body warranty.
Fabia new car buyers can choose whether to take fixed or variable service intervals. The fixed regime comes every 10,000 miles and is for those who cover lower mileages with more short journeys, heavy-duty use and often use high revs. The flexible regime, which is mainly for constant-speed motorway users, will flash up servicing needs variably between 9,000-20,000 miles, depending on use: if you’re easy on your Skoda, you can stretch services to a maximum of two years.
In this review
- 1Skoda Fabia reviewIt might be showing its age ever so slightly, but the comfortable, practical Fabia remains hard to fault
- 2Engines, performance and driveNon-turbo entry-level engines can struggle, but the 1.0 TSI petrol is surprisingly strong
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsVery fuel-efficient range of engines ensure CO2 is competitive and running costs are low
- 4Interior, design and technologyPlain interior design is nevertheless well built and includes some standout technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceVery roomy and practical, the comfortable Fabia also boasts one of the biggest boots in the supermini sector
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingThe previous Fabia had a middling reputation for reliability but the latest one should be much better – it’s safer too